Some comments and instructions in this page are for audio browsers and users who browse this site with screen readers. If you can see this paragraph and you are not using a text-only or screen reader browser, either the style sheet for screen viewing didn't load (if so, click on "refresh" to reload the style sheet), or you need to use a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards-supporting browser that has full HTML 4.0.1 Strict and cascading style sheet (CSS) level 2 support. (For information about these browsers, see Standards-supporting browsers.) The Society for Technical Communication is a W3C member: http://www.w3.org/
For additional information, see the Accessibility Design and Features page.
If your browser supports hotkeys, the following hotkeys will move you around the page:
0 to return to the top of the page.
1 to skip navigation links and go to the main content.
2 to move to the top navigation links.
3 to skip the Introduction section.
4 to move to the side navigation links.
5 to move to the bottom navigation links (these include both the top and side navigation links).
6 for the search query input field.
7 to submit search query.
8 to use the Screen style sheet.
: to use the Negative style sheet.
9 to use the Text style sheet.
r to use the Text in large font style sheet.
# to print this page.
l to use the Aural style sheet.
& for Link Suggestion.
n for Name.
s for Subject.
m for Message.
p for Home Phone.
w for Work Phone.
d for Wireless Device / Pager.
x for Contact Preference.
e for E-mail.
f for Fax.
y for Company.
t for Street.
i for City.
a for State.
/ for Post or Zip Code.
o for Country.
u for URL.
b for Membership.
h for Membership Number.
z to Send the message.
c to Clear (reset) the form.
Access keys are activated by pressing
Alt (for Windows) or
control (for Mac) and the access key character (in some browsers, the access keys are activated by releasing the
control key, then pressing the access key character, then pressing the Enter key). The Tab key will also get you through the page.
Because Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) positioning rules are used in the style sheet, you may find that only Alt 1 (top) works in the latest visual browsers. All four keys should work in older browsers that don't support CSS positioning standards.
Pull browser window out or in to widen or shorten line length.
This is the Society for Technical Communication (STC) AccessAbility SIG Web site. This Web site aims to provide resources, information, and support to technical communicators with accessibility needs and to help technical communicators make the products they create accessible to end users with accessibility needs.
If you would like additional information about the Society, contact the Society for Technical Communication office at
The STC AccessAbility SIG's Web site is designed to be 100% accessibile using cascading style sheets (CSS) instead of tables for the page layout. All navigation menus are text links styled by CSS: no graphic buttons are used in the menus. The site validates for Section 508 and W3C WAI priorities 1, 2, and 3, which includes validating for HTML 4.01 Strict and CSS. Validations may be checked using the links at the bottom of each page. For more information, see the Accessibility features page.
The site was first put up in January 2000 for the Special Needs Committee. The committee was converted to a Special Interest Group (SIG) in May, 2002 and the site moved to a new URL for the Society SIGs. The significance of the starfish used in the navigation links on the pages is explained in "The Story of the Starfish" (116 K ) by Dan Voss.
The site was initiated, designed, and coded by Cynthia A. Lockley. The site is maintained by the following team:
For questions about or to report a design/navigation problem with the Web site, send a message to the .
This site is hosted by the Society on the SIG server. Send comments about any problems with the functional performance of this site to the STC Webmaster at or call 703-522-4114 ext. 203.
Input for the site has been provided by several people including: Karen Mardahl, Lori Gillen, Jodie Gilmore, George Hoerter, Connie Kiernan, Paula Kimbrough, Gail Lippincott, Andy Malcolm, Helen Marty, Kim McConnell, Gloria Reece, Judy Skinner, Karen Steele, Fabien Vais, and many others.
The Accessibility design and features page describes the navigation, fonts, style sheets, colors, Web conventions, and other items used to make this site an enjoyable and useful experience for people with special needs.
Some hypertext links may take you to Portable Document Format (PDF) files you can view in your Web browser. PDF file links are marked by the PDF icon ( ). PDF files are extremely compact, platform-independent, and easy to create. They offer design control, print-ready documents, and an endless array of authoring applications. PDF is an extension of the Encapsulated PostScript format that allows hypertext linking. Some PDF files may contain hypertext links that take you to another location in the PDF file or to another Web page. The hypertext links are indicated by a hot spot in the PDF file where the cursor changes to a hand with a pointing finger. Use the Back button to return to previous pages in the Web browser or to return from the PDF viewer to the HTML viewer.
If you can't view the PDF files or you get an error message, download and install the latest version of the FREE Acrobat® Reader™ plug-in for your browser: http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/. Some PDF files are saved with accessibility and search capabilities for screen readers. The Acrobat Reader, full version has accessibility and search capabilities. For more information about Adobe Acrobat accessibility, see the Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and accessibility: FAQs. After installing the Reader, use the Help menu to select "Updates..." to be sure you have the latest version. The Adobe® Web site provides good technical support in their Support Knowledgebase. For example, solutions for printing problems with an Acrobat 5-7 PDF file on Windows; and solutions for printing problems with an Acrobat 5-7 PDF file on Mac OS.
Access Plug-in Note: If you are using a screen reader, download the Access plug-in as well: http://access.adobe.com. The Access plug-in allows you to convert the PDF file to an ASCII Text format.
Send comments, questions, and suggestions to the A-SIG Co-Managers directly:
Send link suggestions and Web comments to the .